Two lecturers trick varsities into Sh14 million scholarship

The university is still in the process of recovering the money from the former lecturer.


• Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje said the don should pay more than Sh5 million for breaching the contract.

Karatina University Vice Chancellor Mucai Muchiri speaking when he appeared before the Public Investments Committee on Education and Governance on April 19,2023

Two lecturers allegedly tricked their universities into offering them scholarships worth more than Sh10 million after which they disappeared.

In one of the cases, an assistant lecturer at Karatina university is said to have acquired masters scholarship in 2014 and was supposed to return to the institution in December 2018.

Karatina university VC Mucai Muchiri told MPs the don however secured an opportunity in the County Government of Kilifi upon return.

“The lecturer was sponsored to pursue a PhD in veterinary medicine at Yangzhou University in China for three years and 10 months. The course and financial support were approved by the university at a cost of Sh5.6 million,” Muchiri said.

He said the university wrote to the Kilifi county secretary asking them to help the institution recover their funds.

As of March 2021, the former don had paid Sh1.5 million in two bits- the first one was Sh500,000 and the other Sh1 million.

“He applied for leave of absence but after deliberation, the university management board declined to approve the leave,” he said.

By taking up a new opportunity in Kilifi, the don was in breach of his agreement with the university.

Muchiri appeared before the public investments committee on education and governance on Wednesday.

The committee chairperson Wanami Wamboka said the former don will be required to appear before the committee next week.

“Why is it hard to recover the money yet he is a government employee. And the vice chancellor needs to explain why you cleared him from the institution to take up another opportunity,” Wamboka said.

This is after MPs were shown a letter congratulating the lecturer for his newly acquired opportunity in the county government.

“This letter reads Mucai Muchiri.  Is that you? Why did you allow him to leave yet you had an agreement?” he posed.

Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje said the don should pay more than Sh5 million for breaching the contract.

“As a university, you should be able to recover that Sh5 million and also more money to pay for damages because you had to hire someone for a position he was supposed to hold upon return,” Mwenje said.

In a similar case, another lecturer at Dedan Kimathi University also secured another opportunity after acquiring a scholarship worth Sh2 million.

The lecturer is said to have received more than Sh7 million as salaries, leave allowance and annual allowance while he was away.

DKUT VC Ndirangu Kioni said the matter is an ongoing court case.

“The employee is not in the country, he works in a certain organisation which is based in Botswana,” Kioni said.

However, he had a hard time explaining to the MPs why the don received his full salary while on study leave.

“The university policy allows one to be paid eight per cent of their salary,” he said.

Narok County MP Rebecca Tonkei said public universities scholarships to be probed to filter out such cases.

Tonkei warned that taxpayers could lose more money in future because of the breached scholarship contracts.

“Are universities working with these employees because the issue of breaching a contract to return to the university is now becoming a concern,” Tonkei said.

The university is still in the process of recovering the money from the former lecturer.



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